Tech Trek is a week-long science and math camp designed to develop interest, excitement, and self-confidence in young women who will enter eighth grade in the fall. It features hands-on activities in math, science, and related fields. All sleeping, eating, instructional, and recreational facilities are located on the Stanford University campus, where the camp is held.
Since the first camp at Stanford in 1998, AAUW-OML has sent 84 Lamorinda middle school girls to Tech Trek camp. AAUW-CA research has shown that many Tech Trekkers have continued their studies in science and medicine in college, and the early campers are now pursuing their career goals in the STEM fields. Based on a study published by AAUW, Solving the Equation, The Variables for Women’s Success in Engineering and Computing, in less than 10 years the United States will need 1.7 million more engineers. Yet women represent only a small fraction of engineers today. Women are also underrepresented in the computer science, chemistry, physics, and mathematics fields.
Tech Trek Camp Scholarships
To encourage young women to pursue STEM careers, where women are currently underrepresented, AAUW-OML sends middle school girls interested in science and math to Grace Hopper Tech Trek Camp on the campus of Stanford University.
These Tech trek scholarship winners (in photo above) returned from their week at the Grace hopper STEM camp on the Stanford University campus in July with glowing words about their experiences.
Mary Conklin, Ella Easley, Marianne Eichmann, Jada Hembrador, Liesel Hilkemeyer, Isabelle Katz, and Maya Martono were delighted with their special experiences bonding with “like-minded girls” who love science and math and seeing their future in a variety of possible STEM careers.
Tech Trek math/science camp is designed to encourage rising 8thgrade girls to persist with their excitement about science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) through high school, college, and into their careers. The program features numerous hands-on activities as well as a chance for the girls to make friends with other girls interested in STEM and to meet professional women in STEM fields.
This year, core classes at camp included Computer Coding and Cyber Sleuthing, as well as Marine Biology, CSI Forensics, and Aerospace Engineering. At camp, the girls took apart computers, wrote computer code, dissected fish, went on a STEM hunt on campus, learned the physics of hand-made cars and went on field trips. They stayed up to midnight looking through a variety of telescopes and talking with engaging amateur astronomers. They “speed dated” to learn about the STEM careers of professional women. They learned about structural engineering and build structures using rolled up newspapers. And much more!
Some quotes from the girls:
“This camp has been a fun, amazing and life-changing experience that I will never forget.”
“Thanks to this opportunity, I can leave with more confidence and an even greater love for STEM.”
“Continue to inspire girls like me to pursue STEM careers! And Tech Trek was one of the best weeks ever!”
These girls want to make this world a better place. They were chosen after a rigorous process of being nominated by their teachers, completing an application, and being interviewed by a team of three AAUW-OML members.
The Tech Trek Mission
AAUW Tech Trek, founded in 1998, is designed to help girls continue their interests in science, technology, engineering, and math, (STEM) exploration and learning. Studies have shown that 68% of both boys and girls in fourth grade are naturally interested in science. But by eighth grade, this interest has dropped dramatically, especially for the girls.
That is why we feel it is important to support girls interested in science during the middle school years and to expose them to the careers available to women in science today. Many former Tech Trekkers, now in college or working, have told us that Tech Trek was one of the most influential personal or academic experiences of their middle school years. AAUW-CA research has shown that many Tech Trekkers have continued their studies in science and medicine in college, and the early campers are now pursuing their career goals in the STEM fields.
Please Donate to Support Scholarships to Tech Trek
Please Donate to Support Scholarships to Tech Trek Camp
AAUW-OML will be selecting seven more Tech Trek campers in the spring. The cost is $1000 to send each girl to camp.
You can donate by:
- Sending a check with your donation to the Branch treasurer. Donations should be made out to the AAUW OML Community Outreach Fund. Please write “Tech Trek” on the memo line of the check. Send your check to: Peggy Cabiness, AAUW OML Treasurer, 743 Crossbrook Drive, Moraga, CA 94556
- Making your donation on-line with your credit card at the following link:
Donations made to Tech Trek as part of the AAUW OML Community Outreach Fund are tax-deductible. The Fund is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization, EIN 38-3837745.
Thank you for supporting these outstanding young women and fostering their knowledge and confidence to pursue their interest in STEM!
- Read about recent attendance at Stanford Grace Hopper Tech Trek Camp
- Watch the video on Facebook
- Read our answers to Tech Trek Frequently Asked Questions
- Read the Tech Trek brochure.
- Visit AAUW of California’s Frequently Asked Questions on their Tech Trek website.
- See “Why So Few,” a recent AAUW study.
- Email the AAUW-OML Tech Trek Director, Jan Cushman, or call her at (925) 253-1958 for more information.
- We have made a resource list of camps and activities. We do not endorse any of these programs, but are providing the list as a resource for all our Tech Trek candidates, past and present.
- Seattle Girls plan to launch a hand built spacecraft
- Read about Women and Girls in the News for inspiration.
Lockheed Martin Grant
Lockheed Martin invested in Tech Trek with a $90,000 grant to AAUW in 2015. $40,000 helped the Association expand Tech Trek into a national program with 20 camps in 9 states. $50,000 added enrichment to four existing camps located near Lockheed Martin sites. The two camps held on campus at Stanford University—Camp Marie Curie and Camp Grace Hopper—each received $12,500. This was an unrestricted grant. Read the official press release for details.